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Challenges Attracting Talent

Salary is not the primary driver of work-life happiness in the Asia-Pacific region, finds a new study.

By Maggie Mancini

A majority (89%) of employers in the APAC region are struggling to attract new talent to their organisations, according to a recent report from PersolKelly. Nearly the same number (86%) of employers are facing challenges retaining the talent they do have. The report underscores prevailing employee dissatisfaction in several APAC markets, particularly those that are facing a shortage of skilled talent.  

Singapore has a considerably lower work-life satisfaction rate at 37%, while Korea follows with 28%. In Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, 24% of employees express dissatisfaction, equating to nearly one in four workers. Vietnam (89%), Indonesia (88%), and India (86%) lead as the top three countries where respondents report considerably high current levels of work-life satisfaction. 

The report also finds that when employees are asked about the importance of a happy working life, an overwhelming majority (97%) say it holds either a very or moderately high importance. People who are happy at work are 12% more productive than those who aren’t, according to the report.  

The top factors driving attrition and work-life happiness include satisfaction with total compensation, career development and advancement opportunities, sustainability of work expectations, inspiring and caring leaders, and access to resources. At the same time, the report finds that the top factors driving employee retention are meaningfulness of work, flexibility, support for mental health and well-being, travel demand, safety of the workplace environment, and inclusivity.  

Employee contentment is influenced by a variety of factors, and the report says that 97% of employees feel it’s important for them to seek satisfaction at work. The top drivers of workplace happiness are work-life balance (42%), a secure and healthy environment (40%), positive co-worker relationships (39%), the potential to improve family living conditions (38%), and competitive salary (36%).  

From the data obtained from 12 different markets in the APAC region, the report finds that more than a third (35%) of respondents perceive themselves as the primary driver of improving work satisfaction. This sentiment is strongest in Indonesia (52%) and weakest in New Zealand (20%). The secondary drivers are their direct managers or HR.  

To cultivate a happy workplace, the report finds that employees want their organisations to set healthy boundaries, adopt flexible work arrangements, and to focus on personal time after work hours and fully disconnect after the workday.  

To help implement these changes, organisations can discourage work after hours and lead by example by not overworking, discuss flexibility, and foster a teamwork culture. 

Tags: APAC January 2024, APAC News

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